The Mystery of The "Do Not Double" Coupon

Do you cringe when you have a coupon that says “Do Not Double or Triple”? Are you afraid that your store will not double it even when they have a double coupon policy? Well you are certainly not alone. Here are a few things you should know about doubling coupons.

If a coupon has the number 5 as the first number in the UPC code of the coupon, then the coupon will double at the register. If a coupon has the number 9 as the first number, then it will not double at the register as it’s coded not to do so. Coupons with the first number of 9 are usually found on blinkie coupons which are the coupons that are in that little red box that hangs off the shelf in your store.

So now you have a coupon with the number 5 (will double at the register) but it clearly states “Do Not Double” on the top (similar to the one pictured above). What happens?

First your store has to have a double coupon policy for any coupon to double. You must know your store coupon policy. Sometimes the same chain of stores, like ShopRite, may have different double policies such as only deduct up to $.99 or like mine, double all coupons that are up to $.99.

Now, onto the “Do Not Double” stamped on top of that coupon. If your store doubles a coupon, the doubled portion of the coupon is considerated a “store coupon”. Meaning that the store covers the cost of the double portion, not the manufacturer. Now there are some cases where deals have been made with the manufacturer that they (the manufacturer) will cover that extra double portion. For example,

$.50 coupon <----manufacturer covers cost of coupon
$.50 doubled <----store covers cost in most cases. sometimes a manufacturer will cover this cost as well.
Total coupon price deducted: $1.00

In some cases the manufacturer will cover the full $1.00 if that is something that has been agreed upon between the manufacturer and store. When a coupon says “Do Not Double” it simply means that the manufacturer will not cover that second $.50, so it’s at the stores discretion whether or not they will still double it.

What does all this mean to you as a consumer. Honestly, nothing. If your store doubles, then they should still double this “Do Not Double” coupon as the store is offering that extra $.50 (as in the case of the example I gave) as a store coupon whether they are being reimbursed or not.

My suggestion, now that you understand why a coupon states “Do Not Double”, is to stop by your customer service counter and have a chat with them about their policies. If they don’t know, ask to speak with a manager so you can be sure you have the correct information.

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  • Anonymous

    Great article, Cindy. The Shop Rite in Watchung has a new policy, where they are diligent about checking coupons, and no longer take coupons they used to. The item has to be exactly what the coupon is for, even though the first 5 digits may be the same on the item, which may be, e.g. stick butter instead of tub butter. Good suggestion, every store I bet has their own policies on coupons. Thx! Susan

  • sjfabian

    Our Shoprite, the day cashiers will not double the "Do Not Double" coupons as well as our new Giant food store. . .so I run them through the self checkout and have no problem getting the double.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Cindy for enlightening us about the "Do not double" mystery coupons. Now I know…


  • Julie Ewing

    Thanks for the article Cindy. Now I know better 😉

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  • Danielle

    My Shaws has some cashiers that will double and some that think they are breaking the law if they double a “do not double”. Usually I just do self checkout without any problems. I did notice recently my Stop and Shop self checkout didn’t do a full double on a “do not double” it did the coupon’s value and a half of it’s value, very weird! But regular check out with cashiers still doubles( if you aren’t dealing with the coupon police). LOL!

  • Tosha

    If a store has a “double coupons up to a dollar” policy… does that mean that the $1.00 coupons WILL double, or not?

  • jess


  • kristina

    hello, I recently encountered a situation in which my 65/1 butterball coupon did not double, though it started with a 5.. my cashier was as confused as me, since all my other coupons did double (though many also stated DND)

  • Jessica S

    I recently had a cashier refuse to let me use 2 $1/2 on,m&m candies. I had 4 packages but she took the do not double in the coupon as I could not use more than one coupon. I tried to explain to her but she would not listen to me. My 9yr old son called her a coupon hater. Haha